Some Parisian cemeteries are destinations. We (okay, it was me, not we) picked Cimetière du Père Lachaise because it is where Edith Piaf (singer of La Vie En Rose) is buried. Also, it’s famed for its beauty in all of Paris.
We went on Halloween, just because, well, why not? This was part of the decoration of one of the “sepulcres”, and seemed appropriate for the day:
There were many other visitors to the cemetary. And lots of chrysanthemums, which I learned after returning home is the flower best known for remembering the dead (the article pointed out that mums should never be taken as a hostess gift). So, there were not just touristy types at the cemetery that day, but people coming (often with mums in tow) to honor loved ones and notables who had passed.
I was expecting a large and beautiful gravesite for Edith Piaf. But it was small and simple. In fact, if not for the other people visiting the site, we might not have found it. Edith Piaf was not her given name.
Fittingly, those visiting her grave brought roses…
The cemetery was laid out much like a randomly plotted city. There were winding cobblestone roads marked with street signs.
In a number of strategic locations there were “roadmaps” to assist in the location of gravesites.
This “city” is also the final resting place of Modigliani, Molière, and Jim Morrison.
The “notable” M’s
We didn’t look for Modigliani’s or Molière’s graves, but we did seek out Jim Morrison’s. I also expected somewhat of a spectacle for his grave. But it was even more simple than Edith Piaf’s. His was, however, surrounded by a low fence to keep his fans from getting too close.
Nearby trees and light standards have been turned into message boards of a sort for those who come to visit.
Even the wads of gum stuck to the tree have messages written on them.
There is no shortage of beautiful art or architecture in this city within a city.
As it was late fall, the leaves had mostly turned color and many had fallen.
Those that remained in the trees lining the cobbled streets made the place just a little bit golden, and a whole lot beautiful.
This trailing vine was hanging on to its smashing color and looking mighty fashionable as it decorated a grave largely forgotten over time…
While it was not in the least a creepy place, I don’t think I’d want to be there during the night time. But if you ever are lucky enough to get to go to Paris, add “visit the Cimetière du Père Lachaise” to your “must do” list.